News from Madison County...

NOVEMBER 6, 2002


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespie
Safety measures needed for Glenn Carrie Road
It finally happened. I have been expecting it for some time now.
A young girl died as a result of a Monday afternoon accident just off Glenn Carrie Road. This tragedy is the result of too many vehicles, too many kids in the streets and no sidewalks.

Margie Richards
Things are sweet at Sourwood
A getaway.
We all need just that sometimes.
And I’ve found that no matter how busy we are, my husband Charles and I have to take time to “get out of town” (or out of the county) every couple of months, even if it’s just overnight.

Phillip Sartain
Getting your mind out of the gutters
It’s that time of year, again. Summer has sounded the retreat. And as usual, it slunk out of town like a coward. In its wake, the sky is full of falling leaves.

Rochelle Beckstine
Eight hours sleep good, Nine hours sleep deadly
Too much sleep can kill you or so Boston University School of Medicine says.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

One last time:
In last year’s season finale, a winless North Hall team handed Madison County a 23-point humbling.
The Raiders don’t want an encore this year.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Republican tide swamps Jackson
Bell upset by Elrod in House race. Having the (R) beside your name in Jackson County was as good as gold in Tuesday’s balloting as Republican candidates swamped Democrats in local votes.

Chamber’s ‘Taste Of Jackson’ Scheduled For Thursday Night
The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce's tenth annual Taste of Jackson & Business Showcase is planned for Thursday night from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Commerce Civic Center.

County manager working without signed contract
Jackson County manager Al Crace has been working without a signed contract since being hired a year ago.

Nativity scene at issue in Hoschton
A question of church versus state is being debated in Hoschton following the tabling of a request for a live nativity scene on city property.

City Moving To Declare Pardue’s MHP A ‘Nuisance’
Following code inspections last week that found more than 80 health and safety violations, the city of Commerce is moving to declare Pardue's Mobile Home Park a public nuisance.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Westmoreland stays, Rogers out
Come January 1, Banks County will have a new commissioner and the school board will have its only member without children.
Voters warm up to new machines
The new touch-screen voting machines went over well in Banks County on Election Day Tuesday.
Child abuse reports continue to rise
The September report from the Banks County Department of Family and Children Services showed that staff members are seeing a continued rise in child abuse cases.

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‘Wrapped in the flag’

Madison County High School juniors Catherine Morris, left, and Kristen Johnson, co-captains of the school’s colorguard wrap up in a flag before going on the field during the half-time show of Madison County’s 21-7 loss to Buford Friday.

GOP favored by county voters
Madison County voters joined the national shift to the right by voting heavily for Republican candidates in Tuesday’s general election. All but two Republican office seekers carried the county by large margins.
Though no county offices were up for grabs Tuesday, voters did choose representatives for new state general assembly districts.
In the State Senate District 47 race, Madison County Republican Ralph Hudgens edged Democrat Robert Banks with 51.8 percent of the overall vote and 66.3 percent of the county vote.
Republican Casey Cagle handily defeated Democrat Suellen Simmons in the District 49 election with 80 percent of the overall vote and 72.8 percent of the local vote.
In the House District 23 election, Democrat Alan Powell topped Arch Adams with 59.7 percent of the overall vote but only 35.9 percent of the county vote.
In the House District 78 race, Democrat Tom McCall defeated Republican Joe Harris with 72.6 percent of the overall vote, but only 45.8 percent of the Madison County vote.
Republican Bob Smith ran unopposed for the House District 76 seat and received 2,679 Madison County votes.
County voters also supported Republicans in statewide races, helping oust Roy Barnes as governor with 71 percent (4,179) of county voters choosing Sonny Perdue to just 29 percent (1,702) voting for Barnes.
Madison Countians favored Saxby Chambliss over Max Cleland for the U.S. Senate seat 3,950 to 2,012 (66.3 to 33.7 percent).
Voters reported no problems with the new electronic machines. Both the touch screen voting machines and the optical scanner used to count absentee ballots worked as advertised. Numerous voters expressed their approval of the new equipment.
Of the 12,447 registered voters in the county, 6,123 or 49.2 percent turned out to vote.


Child dies after being struck by motorcycle
The flags flew at half-staff at the middle school Tuesday in memory of a sixth grade student who died late Monday evening after being struck by a motorcycle as she walked in her subdivision.
According to a report from the Athens Post of the Georgia State Patrol, Amanda Edwards, 11, of Bedford Drive, Hull, was walking with two other girls north on Kevin Way near the entrance to Windsor Heights subdivision around 5:25 p.m. when a 1979 Honda motorcycle driven by Paul Greene, 47, of Helican Springs Road, Athens, also traveling north, struck her.
According to the GSP, two of the girls ran to the right while Amanda ran to the left and into the path of the motorcycle, which had also veered left in an apparent attempt to avoid the girls.
Amanda was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center by Madison County EMS, where she died several hours later.
Greene was also transported, but his condition was not known as of press time.
Speed of the motorcycle was not determined, according to the report, and charges are pending the results of blood tests on the driver, as is customary in all serious accidents.
Amanda was a daughter of David and Glenda Edwards, also of Hull.


Edwards remembered as good student, friend
A popular sixth grader who played the flute in the band, had a good singing voice and a sunny disposition.
That’s how Amanda Edwards, who died late Monday after being struck by a motorcycle in Hull, will be remembered by both her teachers and her peers.
“She was the kind of kid you wished you could clone,” Veronica Hunter, Amanda’s language arts teacher, said. “She was a good student.”
Science teacher Michelle Garrison agreed. “She was popular and had a lot of close friends,” she added.
And both teachers remembered that Amanda “was laughing and in good spirits” Monday at school.
“I remember her laughing over something somebody said yesterday - her little shoulders were just shaking,” Hunter said Tuesday afternoon.
Garrison also remembers that Amanda took pride in how she looked - sometimes even if it meant she occasionally took a few minutes too long in the restroom and was a little late to class.
“That’s true, she was a ‘primper,’ “ Hunter agreed, chuckling.
Amanda, along with other sixth grade students, had just attended their first middle school dance a couple of weeks ago.
“She had a really good time that night, we all did,” Garrison said.
School officials made an announcement about Amanda’s death Tuesday morning, but her teachers agreed that most students seemed to have already heard about the tragedy.
“There was a moment of silence for her, and that seemed to help them, because it showed respect for her,” Garrison said.
Counselors were on hand all day to talk with students, and teachers didn’t follow the usual routine but instead gave students time to talk about their feelings if they wanted to, or to express them on paper.
“I have a whole stack of cards from the students to give to her family,” Garrison said, adding that many drew pictures of her, and of heaven.
“The first thing said about her was that she went to a better place because she was a Christian,” Garrison added.
Amanda’s social studies teacher Tracy Tate and homeroom teacher Chanda Gipson said many of the students talked about her “beautiful voice.”
“Some of them said they thought she would have been a famous singer,” Tate said.
A GOOD FRIEND
In a handmade card to Amanda’s family, sixth grader Heather McEntire wrote:
“I know Amanda is in a better place now, but I wish she was still here. Amanda was a good friend and I know that you miss her as much as I do. And if I had one more chance to talk to her again I would tell her I not only loved her as a friend, but as a family member also.”
Alex Faulkner wrote: “Hey girl, I just want you to know that I will always miss you. You helped me see that the world is beautiful just like you. You taught me to be myself and not to be someone else. I will never forget what you said that day...”the world is a flower and you are one of the petals. Without you a flower would not be the same.”
Friends Zoe Smith and Linda Munro wrote “I will miss you a lot, we loved you very much and we wish you were here with us...she loved to wear make up...she loved to help people and a lot of people liked her.”
And from James Gatrell: “...I write this poem to show my sympathy, ‘days will go, years will pass and weeks and months will pass by so fast. I’m sorry for your loss and she will always find you wherever you are’...I’m sorry that you lost Amanda. Amanda was a good person and I’m sorry she’s gone...”

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To read more about the local events in Madison County, including births, weddings, sports news and school news, see this week's Madison County Journal.


Comer council to consider new beer and wine ordinance
Restaurants in Comer could soon be able to serve beer and wine to their customers.
The city council agreed to give consideration to passing an ordinance to allow beer and wine in restaurants after Alex Vasquez, who owns the newly opened Los Hermanos Mexican restaurant in downtown Comer, asked the council if he could serve beer and wine to his customers.
“According to the current ordinance, restaurants cannot serve alcoholic drinks,” city attorney Victor Johnson told the council.
“It’s up to the council to decide if they want to pass an ordinance to allow it,” he added.
After some discussion, the council voted to have Johnson draw up an ordinance for their review at the December council meeting.
The council also agreed to consider raising the current $100 licensing fee for applications for the sale of beer and wine in convenience stores.
City clerk Steve Sorrells suggested that the council obtain copies of ordinances in surrounding towns that have beer and wine sales.
In a separate matter, the council agreed to allow Comer police chief Barry Reed to pursue establishing a police sub-station for the sheriff’s department and Comer PD in the east end housing authority. Reed said the housing authority will provide the office rent-free and will pay half the utility costs.
The Comer Police Department will continue to maintain its main office at city hall.
Reed said he believed an increased law enforcement presence in that area will cut down on drug problems.
“The trick is getting the sheriff’s office to utilize it... I think they’ll find it an advantage to them,” Reed said.
In other business, the council:
•voted to approve a rezone request by Tim Seymour on a one-half acre parcel on Hwy. 72 West. Seymour requested the property be rezoned from R-1 (single residential) to R-M (multi-family residential) in order to construct two adjoining two-story townhouses for lease.
•agreed to make repairs to a vehicle seized in a drug case before it is offered for sale.
•set the millage rate at 4.7, the same as last year.
•looked over the proposed 2003 city budget, which shows general fund revenues in the amount of $429,200, down about two percent from 2002. The proposed budget also includes an excess of expenditures over revenue in the amount of $25,000. Sorrells said this excess is mainly due to the anticipated purchase of commercial grade grass cutting equipment. He proposed that the $25,000 be reserved from the general fund as of Dec. 31 of this year for this purpose. The council is expected to vote on the budget in December.